H&M removes 'black boy' ad after racism accusation
STOCKHOLM, Sweden – Swedish clothing giant Hennes and Mauritz on Monday, January 8 apologized and removed an advertisement of a black child after the company was accused of being racist on social media.
A photo on the company's online website of a black boy wearing a green hoodie with the inscription "coolest monkey in the jungle" triggered outrage among observers.
"Whose idea was it at @hm to have this little sweet black boy wear a jumper that says 'coolest monkey in the jungle'?" style blogger Stephanie Yeboah tweeted on Sunday.
"You do know that monkey is a known racial slur to black people right?" she added.
Sometimes it’s important to let your voice be heard. H&M eventually took the photo down and offered a weak ass apology, but what hurt the most was the amount of racist abuse I received throughout the day, predominantly from white men. These are just a few of the 200+ DMs and messages today. It’s irritating that in 2018, people still don’t realise that the term ‘monkey’ is a horrible racial slur used towards black People. It horrifies me that people still don’t know the definition of racism, and it pains me to know that there are a large group of people out there who see nothing wrong with this photo. I wish we could do better as a society. I’m just so disappointed and tired of everything right now.
"The image has now been removed from all H&M channels and we apologise to anyone this may have offended," the company told Agence France-Presse.
A generic photo of the hooded sweatshirt without the modelling child is still available online.
The Weeknd also announced that he was disappointed with the company and won't work with them anymore. The singer previously collaborated on collections with H&M.
H&M is not the only major company to be hit by an advertisement scandal in recent years.
Spanish clothing brand Zara in 2014 removed a striped pyjamas with a yellow star after facing outrage over its resemblance to clothes worn by Jewish prisoners in concentration camps.
And in October last year, personal care brand Dove apologized after it was accused of racism for airing a commercial showing a black woman turning into a white woman after removing her top. – Rappler.com